MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash. – Alaska All Stars forward Journey Miller scored four goals with three assists in the team’s 9-1 opening victory at the Pacific District Girls Tier II 19U Championship this past week, and she kept going.
Miller added two goals in the next game and another goal along with two assists Sunday in the team’s 5-1 victory over the San Diego Jr. Gulls, the latter win clinching the Pacific District title at the tournament taking place in the Seattle suburbs. Now the All Stars will play at the 2020 Chipotle-USA Hockey Girls Tier II 19U National Championship, which will be held in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
“It’s a great feeling just knowing that this group of girls can go out and win all together,” Miller said. “And for us seniors it’s going to be great memories.”
Forward/defenseman Carly Glover’s performance was strong throughout the tournament, scoring two goals in that first game and one in the Sunday victory.
“It was a really good feeling,” Glover said. “Just two years ago we lost in the championship game. We swept all the teams that we played, then we lost 3-0 to the Sharks. I had that running through my head today at the beginning, but then I just cleared my mind and played the game and played hard.”
The Alaska All Stars nearly dominated every game at the tournament, including the final against San Diego. They outshot their opponents, blocked more shots and led 3-0 after the second period. San Diego scored once in the third period, but Alaska added two more tallies to seal the win.
Miller feels good about her team’s chances.
“We’re good,” she said. “If we play together and have everyone’s hearts in it, we could win Nationals.”
Glover is very optimistic as well.
“I think we’re really good,” she said. “We have really good moments, and I think we capitalize on those moments more often than not, and I think that’s what makes us a good team. I think we have a chance to win. We just have to bring every game and keep the game simple.”
Added All Stars coach Cristy Hickel: “By Nationals, we’ll have all our ponies in the right barn.”
Miller’s success has transcended the Alaska All Stars, as she’s also played for her Soldotna High School boys varsity team and was named an MVP. Glover, meanwhile, has attended two USA Hockey Player Development Camps. Hickel had high praise for both players.
“Journey is a great puck possessor,” Hickel said. “She can pick up the puck and weave through traffic and dish pucks. She had one goal between the legs just for fun. And the girls just love it. They cheer for her.
“And Carly has the best heart in the world, and she’ll work for anybody.”
While the All Stars are based in Anchorage, many of the players are from all around the state.
“They have a passion for the sport and they find a way to come together and they’re good listeners and hopefully we’re good coaches so we teach them the basics and we come together with our culture,” Hickel said. “Our culture is really organized and loving. We work for each other and on the bench they’re always talking about the game and how to play the game.
“They’re good players and they have a passion for hockey, and they love to come together. And our culture is really strong and loving. They just love to play the game.”
The majority of players are currently in high school, including Miller, who will graduate this spring and then go to college; she is thinking of attending Minnesota State University, Mankato, to which she has already been accepted.
Both Miller and Glover would be happy to keep playing the game.
“I’ll keep my mind open as I keep progressing through hockey,” Glover said. “I don’t think this is the best I’ll ever be. I think I can get better. I’ll just see where it takes me.”
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.